In a letter to U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Sebelius, the Coalition was able to obtain bipartisan support from Congress urging her to begin the process of reviewing and renewing the federal physical activity guidelines issued in 2008.
The Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans include recommendations of the types and amounts of physical activity that people of any age or ability level should perform to gain important health benefits. Because of the rapidly evolving nature of our scientific understanding of the benefits of exercise, we believe the guidelines must be reviewed at least every five years, as are federal dietary guidelines.
Physical activity during pregnancy benefits a woman’s overall health. For example, moderate-intensity physical activity by healthy women during pregnancy maintains or increases cardiorespiratory fitness.
Strong scientific evidence shows that the risks of moderate-intensity activity done by healthy women during pregnancy are very low, and do not increase risk of low birth weight, preterm delivery, or early pregnancy loss. Some evidence suggests that physical activity reduces the risk of pregnancy complications, such as preeclampsia and gestational diabetes, and reduces the length of labor, but this evidence is not conclusive.
During a normal postpartum period, regular physical activity continues to benefit a woman’s overall health. (more…)